Virtual Expo Producer Pleased, Not Satisfied
The producers of the Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo that was conducted last week on the Internet are pleased but far from satisfied with their first-time event.
“The software was much improved from a technical standpoint from the earlier version we had seen. But it sacrificed user-friendliness to reach that goal,” Art Lierberman, expo producer, stated in a news release. “The sponsors, exhibitors and the visitors all seemed to love the concept and almost all of them have indicated that they would participate in the show if it were to be run again.”
“We have several options going forward. We can run the show in 2011 utilizing Expos2, the provider of the software, under the condition that they revise the program to make both exhibitors and visitors more comfortable at the Expo – or seek another software company. We have, of course been reviewing our alternatives. It does appear, though, that we will try the concept again next year. There have been several entities who have expressed interest in co-producing the event with us.”
The expo’s numbers were good as far as attendance was concerned, he said, and, since the Expo is still open in the “On Demand” status, the final attendance figures are not in. At this writing 3,370 outdoor hospitality businesses were pre-registered for the event and over 420 people attended, 85% of who were campgrounds. An additional 20 or so people are logging in every day at http://live.outdoorhospitalityexpo.com, since the Expo is still running. Hundreds of exhibitor brochures and videos were inserted into attendee’s briefcases to be reviewed later.
“The webinars and Open Forums probably broke records,” said Lieberman. “Derrick Crandall, who delivered the keynote address, had well over 100 individuals watching him live and several dozen more have watched the recorded version of his webinar. Derrick’s topic was unique, in that it covered the attempt by the First Lady to draw attention to childhood obesity and to get youngsters outdoors and recreating (especially at campgrounds). He pointed out that statistics indicate that children spend seven hours a day in front of TV screens or computer or game monitors, which accounts for the high number of obese and overweight children in our society. Even with advances in medical procedures in our present society, children will live 5 years less than their parents.”
All of the other webinars received equal praise from attendees and booth staff as well. Evanne Schmarder’s live broadcast of her cooking show from her RV drew raves from many people. Discussions about Wi-Fi and registration software were also well received.
Lieberman and co-producer Deanne Bower have promised to produce a “White Paper” about the Expo, including full statistics and an evaluation of the software improvements necessary to repeat the event next year. In the meantime they expressed their gratitude to Deb Kohls, Peter Pelland, David Gorin, Jim Ganley, Chris Hipple, Tracie Fisher, Evanne Schmarder, Derrick Crandall, Robin Chilson, Mary Arlington, Tyler Duffy, Eric Stumberg, Gary Pace, Peter Kearns, Jerome Steverosky, Steve Ashkin, Larry Losconsy, Mike Prom and Dennis Macready and many others too numerous to mention, all of whom had a hand in making this vision a reality.
Comments about the Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo can be directed to the producers by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the expo can be found at www.outdoorhospitalityexpo.com or by calling them at (87) 901-EXPO (3976).